Birmingham down Norwich to claim first home win since March
Birmingham ended their long wait for a home win with an impressive 3-0 Championship victory over previously-unbeaten Norwich.
Clayton Donaldson capped a fine individual display with two second-half goals - the first from the penalty spot - after David Davis had given Birmingham a 22nd-minute lead.
It was a defeat that will be hard to take for a Norwich side which dominated long spells only to return pointless to Carrow Road.
Birmingham were without a home win in any competition since the start of March and were beaten 3-1 by rivals Wolves in their last outing at St Andrew's.
However, they atoned for that disappointing performance on Saturday, with Gary Rowett's men starting in positive fashion and Jacques Maghoma proving a threat early on.
Norwich were not without their opportunities but they were missing leading marksman Cameron Jerome and that was reflected in some indifferent finishing by the visitors.
In what was proving a cut and thrust game, Birmingham took the lead in the 22nd minute when diminutive midfielder Davis, the unlikeliest of goalscorers, was perfectly positioned to head home a Maghoma left-wing cross.
Norwich attempted an immediate riposte but Sergi Canos was thwarted by a low blocking save by Tomasz Kuszczak.
The visitors certainly lifted their game to bombard Birmingham's defence, which held out well in the face of increasing pressure as Norwich midfielder Jacob Murphy suddenly began to make an impact.
Dogged defensive play enabled Birmingham to stay in the game but ominously they were pushed further and further back by a Norwich side that lacked finishing power in a game of few clear-cut chances.
That relentless pressure was maintained but the probing play of Canos and Wes Hoolahan continued to go unrewarded.
On a rare breakaway Birmingham wasted a glorious chance to increase their lead and ease the pressure when a smart pass from Donaldson wrong-footed the Norwich defence, but Che Adams shot into the side-netting.
Frustrated Norwich made a double substitution just after the hour, sending on Kyle Lafferty and Josh Murphy for Steven Naismith and Canos, but it was Birmingham who wasted another great goalscoring opportunity.
Donaldson broke clear and provide a superb cross only for Robert Tesche to crash his shot against the crossbar.
That came in the 66th minute but fortunately for the hosts it did not prove expensive as just 60 seconds later Birmingham grabbed the goal which all but sealed their first home win in nine attempts.
Donaldson was brought down by Steven Whittaker and the striker stepped up to convert the resulting penalty.
Donaldson then capped his impressive showing with Blues' third goal in the 84th minute when Norwich, committed to attack, were again caught out by a through-ball to the 32-year-old, who went through unchecked to notch his second goal.
Source : PA